Geographia Polonica (1993) vol. 61

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Some problems of the demographic structure of Polish cities

Adam Jelonek

Geographia Polonica (1993) vol. 61, pp. 171-178


Distribution and density of the population in a geographical space dependmainly on the geographical environment conditions, the historical-political developmentand the socio-economic functions fulfilled by this space. In the city the naturalconditions play a minor role; the functions of the particular districts are moreimportant, age and standard of housing included. In numerous geographical works achangeability and some rules of the population density within the urban space wereproved. In Poland detailed investigations of spatial demographic structures withinthe city were made by the author on the basis of the data from the 1970 and 1978National Censuses, which made it possible to distinguish the population age groups(those of 0-17, 18-59 and over 60) and the sex structure in small census units. Heanalysed over 20 cities, with populations between 6 000 and 700 000.In all considered cases the same regularities of population distribution were found,expressed by a pattern of concentric rings. The highest shares of women wereobserved in the city centre and decreased towards the city boundaries, being thelowest in the areas incorporated most recently into the city. A similar pattern wasshown by the post-productive age group, an inverted one by the pre-productive agegroup. The distribution of the productive age group was not so regular, showing thehighest shares in the rings surrounding the city centre, where the new housingestates were built.In the case of the cities of the complex morphological structure (i.e. that of Cracow,with the new district of Nowa Huta, planned at first as a separate city), this regularpattern of the concentric rings of the demographical structures is disturbed. Thereare separate concentric patterns.

Keywords: demographic structure, population density, Cracow.

Adam Jelonek, Institute of Geography, Jagellonian University, Cracow, Poland